Ah, race memories…. There are so many. I am fortunate that I have had very few bad races. Sure, there are some I wish I would have pushed a little harder through, but let’s face it. All competition is against me, myself, and I.
I have MANY of favorite race memories. Some are fun, some sentimental, some hard-as-hell-and-I-got-through-it. I think about the favorite ones often. Get through a race, love it, and it will come back to you when you need it most.
Here are my top 5 favorite race memories. And for fun, I’m counting down….
Whoever thought my first half marathon would take fifth place? But it does. It was so new to me, it was freezing, I was wearing layer upon layer, and a few of them were COTTON (Hi, my name is Nanci and I a newbie runner.). Training was more walking than running. I did it just to get through it, two weeks after turning 40, it was a goal to do it and say I did it. Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon in St. Petersburg February 2012 was the start of my love for races. I cried like a baby when I crossed that finish line and saw not only hubby, but my mom and my sister-in-law Jenna. For weeks after, I would get all emotional even talking about it. And oh, was I sore. To this day, I still get goosebumps when I hear certain songs that I had on my playlist then and it takes me right back. Like all Journey songs. GREAT memory!!! I finished my first half marathon in 3:11:33.
My 4th favorite race memory is without a doubt Women’s Half Marathon 2013. This is the one and only half marathon, out of 15, that I really trained for, and trained hard. I was determined to set a PR. I first ran this race in 2012, my second half marathon after recovering from the worst sciatica ever. I walked much of it in 2012 and finished in 3:30, my slowest ever. I saw this as a chance to do much better and trained like heck for it. This race also had the Best Damn Race Cheer Squad which was pretty fabulous. Fast forward to 2012 after training for weeks, I finished this race in 2:23, crushing my lofty goal of 2:30. Physically, I was probably in my best shape ever for this race and it showed.
Best Damn Race Safety Harbor 2014 I ran my 7th half marathon. This would be my second year to run this race, but the first year I just ran the 5K. I ran this one without a real training plan, but coming off a PR after major training for the Women’s Half back in November 2013. Best Damn Race hold a special place in my heart for many reasons but I especially love the route and the sunrise over the water. My mom also surprised me at the finish line for this one and got a video of me. I finished this one in 2:18:59.
Just a month after hitting what I was sure would remain my forever PR for a half marathon in Safety Harbor, I did it again, just 2 1/2 minutes faster. It was a gorgeous sunny day with blue skies in downtown Orlando on Lake Eola and I ran my little heart out at Best Damn Race Orlando 2012. When I got to Mile 9 and really started doing the math, I knew I had a chance to PR again. I had to work for it and I did it. To this day, that is still my half marathon PR and a crazy 1 hour and 14 minutes faster than my slowest one ever. CRAZY. It’s also my best paces ever, some in the 9-minutes. Finish time, 2:16:29.
And my #1 all time favorite race memory ever is…. My one and only full marathon, Space Coast Marathon 2015. You knew I would say this, right? Accomplishing 26.2 miles with my friend Corinna by my side was fabulous. Training for 18 weeks took over my life. Race day was very exciting and made it all worth it. The first half flew by. The second half was a totally different beast and we felt it from mile 20 on. It was HARD. It hurt. And I was an emotional mess when we crossed that finish line. Seeing hubby, my mom, and our friend Caitlyn was awesome. Doing one marathon and only one in your lifetime, I love how my one and only went. We finished in 5:58:06, with just over an hour left to go before cut-off. By the end of this race, I definitely loved finish lines…
All this favorite race talk makes me want to lace up and hit the pavement right now! If you would like to get involved in some of your area’s local races, check out Eventbrite. Eventbrite’s event management software also allows you to create your own local event! What are some of your favorite race memories?